Tabs crushed at Fenner’s

first_imgOne-DayCambridge (191-5) beat Oxford (190 all out) by 5 wicketsFour-DayOxford (610-5 dec) beat Cambridge (129 & 268) by an innings & 213 runsOxford extended their run of dominance of the four-day first class Varsity Cricket match in the most emphatic fashion possible, defeating Cambridge by the astounding margin of an innings and 213 runs at Fenner’s. Oxford were in record breaking form both individually and as a team as they posted a record team total of 610-5 declared led by a record individual score of 247 from Salil Oberoi. The Merton first year, who has played first class cricket in India, broke Nawab of Pataudi’s record score after it had stood for 72 years.Oxford’s batsmen utterly destroyed the Cambridge bowling. Playing with extreme aggression, they scored at a strike rate not far short of a run a ball. Oberoi’s record innings was supported by an excellent 184 from Dan Fox during a third wicket partnership of 408, which saw the Cambridge bowlers cut and pulled to despair. Captain Paul McMahon (62 not out) and Chris Stearn (33 not out) also posted a century partnership in quick time before Oxford declared just after lunch on the second day. The Tabs’ response with the bat never looked likely to match Oxford’s extraordinary performance. A fine spell of left arm swing bowling from Amit Suman quickly reduced the light blues to 54-3 in reply, with only bouts of heavy rain preserving the Tabs’ hopes through the second and third day. However, just when the downpours looked to have scuppered any chance of a result the heavens finally closed and Oxford were able to use an hour’s play to decisive effect. Nottinghamshire off-spinner McMahon found surprising turn and bounce to rip the heart out of the Cambridge middle-order, taking four wickets in the space of six overs. Mike Munday and Suman also weighed in with one wicket apiece to leave Cambridge nine down. Oxford now had the entire fourth day to finish off the Tabs’ first innings, enforce the follow on and dismiss Cambridge again.The day began well. The Tabs’ first innings lasted just three balls, and the Blues’ new ball partnership of Suman and Ed Morse dismissed both Cambridge openers cheaply. However, time looked to be running out as Anirudh Singh batted obdurately to a career best 75, while Tom Savill rode his luck to post an attractive 59. However, when Singh was deceived by a Suman slower ball and Savill misread McMahon’s arm ball, the arrival of the second new ball looked certain to do for the Cambridge tail. However, Suman was strangely lacking in menace, and it required the intervention of leg-spinner Mike Munday to seal the victory with just 7 overs remaining. He turned one ball enough to get Ben Jacklin caught behind at the second attempt by Doran and then deceived Kemp with a googly off his very first ball to give Oxford their third Varsity triumph in a row.Whilst it was Oberoi’s record breaking innings that caught the headlines, Oxford coach Graham Charlesworth was fulsome in his praise of Blues captain McMahon, stating “Both his bowling and his captaincy have been of the highest order. Whilst it was very much a team effort, both him and Salil [Oberoi] showed the ability and temperament that it takes to succeed at first-class level. I’m confident that, although we have some good players leaving, we will remain successful because of the sound system that we have in place.”The win helped gloss over the surprise defeat suffered by Oxford in the one day showpiece match at Lord’s. Oxford batted disappointingly. Despite an impressive 56 not out from Chirs Stearn, they lost wickets at regular intervals throughout the innings and were ultimately bowled out for 190 off 49.5 overs. The Dark Blues’ bowlers rose to the challenge of defending such a low total, but Timms’ early innings of 58 proved to be a sufficient platform on which Cambridge could build. Keeping wickets in hand, Cambridge overhauled Oxford’s total with just four balls to go.ARCHIVE: 0th week MT 2005last_img

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